Monday, September 24, 2012

The Judgment of God (Rom. 2:1-16)

 1. Introduction:
In the first section of Romans, Paul demonstrates the dastardly nature of sin. In Romans, Paul beautifully balances and emphasizes the nature of God – His love, forgiveness, and righteousness as well as His wrath and judgment – and the eternal destiny of those who reject Him.

Paul declares that the Gentiles are terribly, grossly, sinful (Chap. 1). Paul also shows that the Jews are also sinful (Chap. 2). In Romans 3, we discover Paul’s belief that Every-one is sinful. God’s judgment is always based upon the fact of sin and the potential of salvation through Jesus Christ.

God judgment is unwelcome news. We don’t want to hear about it. However, the bad news must be heard before we can be receptive to the Good News. One reason the church has not done as well stems from the fact that until people are convinced of their sin through the bad news about the reality of judgment, they cannot become receptive to the good news about Jesus’ love and forgiveness. 

Emphasis upon judgment is never simply a fear motivation to manipulate or trick or move people by their emotions without an understanding of the gospel. People today become so self-righteous as did the Jews, that they think the race into which they were born, or the amount of money that they have, or their educational level, or their level of civilization somehow makes them immune to God’s judgments. God’s Word rings clear: nothing makes us immune from His judgment except His grace offered to us through the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no other remedy.

Paul argues that God’s judgment is real and righteous, while man’s judgment is superficial and inconsistent. We have no excuse to pass judgment on others. When we do, not only do we bring ourselves under God’s judgment (vv. 1-2). We must not think that we escape the judgment of God if we pass judgment on others (v. 3). He exercises His judgment, and He is very jealous about His right to judge. He speaks here through Paul to very religious people. God’s judgment may be more harshly on religious people who are inconsistent or who have not accepted the reality of His grace than on sinners outside who have never heard and never received the good news about Jesus Christ. In this context, we find eight principles about God’s judgment:-

2.1. God’s Judgment Is Based On Truth (v. 2):
God’s judgment is based on what He knows to be real truth. In a human court of law, the jurors or the judge must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. With God, it goes far beyond that, it is based upon the truth that only He can know.

2.3. God’s Judgment Is Inescapable (v. 3):
Sometimes lawbreakers expect to escape from the penalty of the law. Lawbreakers in our society have a lot of hopes. First, they hope they are never discovered. Second, many of them hope to escape beyond the bounds of the jurisdiction where their offense took place. Third, if they are captured and apprehended, they hope to get a smart, in-expensive lawyer. Those two qualities rarely go together. Fourth, if they actually apprehended and convicted, they hope to get time off for good behavior. Or they may hope that somehow their prison sentences are going to be commuted. They may hope to escape to freedom. Lawbreakers expect all kinds of breaks in their favor.

In dealing with God’s judgment, His superior knowledge and power make it absurd to believe we will get a break on the basis of being unknown, or not being found, or not being brought to justice. Judgment is inescapable.

2.4. God’s Judgment Is Delayed (v. 4):
We can be fooled when God does not pronounce His judgment now. We find it difficult to believe in His judgment when He doesn’t hit us when we deserve it. We may become presumptuous because His judgment not instantaneous. Does God’s delay in judgment encourage you to sin as it did the people of Rome? Or does His patience cause you to repent?

God’s forbearance leads to repentance. Too easily people believe that He does not mean what He said because He doesn’t punish instantaneously. A famous German philosopher, grossly sinful, was confronted by his priest. The philosopher said, “Well, God will forgive me.” The priest said, “Why?” in presumption, the philosopher explained, “Because that’s God’s business.” Repentance means an honest, total, inner, contrite willingness to turn away from all the things that hurt God, hurt you, and hurt others.

2.5. God’s Judgment Is Inevitable (v. 5):
A presumptuous, stubborn, hardhearted person continually puts deposits into the savings account of God’s wrath. The hardhearted, unrepentant spirit, the stubborn will, goes to the First Bank of God’s Wrath every day and makes a deposit. However, only He decides when that account is going to be drawn and how it will impact and affect you.

In our culture people gloss over the idea of God’s judgment, either because of their unbelief or their belief that God is too good to judge anybody. Deception is at work. God is too good to send anybody to hell; God is too good to make anybody suffer. That is true: God does not send people to hell; the people themselves, by their hard hearts, stubborn wills, and unrepentant spirits, choose to go to hell. In our society people do wrong and expect to get away with it. So many times people say, “Well, I thought it only happened to other people.”

On a television program featuring drunk drivers, one man who twice lost his license had a number of accidents, and he continued to drive without a license. On this program he proclaimed proudly that he had never killed anybody through driving drunk. Time after time people in the audience stood up and told him that it was only a matter of time until he would kill someone if he continued. At the end of the program, the man said, Well, I know that happens to other people who drive drunk, but it couldn’t happen to me.”

2.6. God’s Judgment Is Based On My Actions (vv. 6-10):
God will absolutely render judgment to every person according to his deeds. The more privileged the person, the more responsibility he faces in judgment. We will be judged on the basis of our light, influence, and privilege. Eternal life is given to people who persevere in good (v. 7). Those persons who are trying to make a difference in the lives of people that will last a hundred years from now receive eternal life.

God’s indignation falls on persons whose selfish ambitions cause them to follow unrighteousness. Distress awaits everyone who does evil, whether Jew, Greek, or Gentile. The gospel is good for everyone, the Jew first and also the Greek (Rom.1:16). Also, God’s judgment is for everyone, the Jew first and also the Greek.

We live in a world where people want to believe that they will naturally escape God’s negative judgment or receive His positive judgment by simply trying to be good neighbor. If we allow them to continue to believe that, then we don’t believe His truth in Romans. His Word says that His judgment comes upon everyone who rejects His good news about Jesus Christ.

2.7. God’s Judgment Is Impartial (vv. 11-15):
God plays no favorites; there is no partiality with Him. The judgment we receive is based upon our opportunity to know, upon the light that He gives us. The law doesn’t make any difference; people who sinned under it or people who sinned away from the law are still going to be judged. Several civilizations highlight the fact that God has written into our world certain laws of human health and human morality.

Nearly every civilization has a proscription against murder. Some people by fallowing these laws of God are led to higher laws of His light. Christians need to get the good news of Jesus Christ to as many people as we possibly can. Their chances for eternal life are tremendously enhanced by hearing the good news about Jesus Christ. Every person who has ever been alive in this world will stand before God. Everyone will be judged according to what He knows about them. According to the word of God, persons whose sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ do not stand in this minute judgment before God, but are passed through on the basis of Jesus’ shed blood. The best plea you can have in the judgment is that Jesus died for you.

2.8. God’s Judgment Is Operational (v. 15):
God’s judgment works within us. The conscience is active, alternatively accusing or defending. Our minds, our hearts, our consciences, our wills, our spirits are all at work within us, and we have a little foretaste in advance of what His judgment will be like. His Spirit uses everything in us to make sure aware. Our whole being is saturated by His Spirit at work within us. His judgment is already beginning.

2.9. God’s Judgment is Impending (v. 16):
We don’t know when the day of God’s judgment is coming. It could be tomorrow’ it could be this week. But remember, God judges the deepest secrets of people through Christ Jesus. God’s judgment is impending and is based on truth, including the truth about our deepest secrets lives as well.
3. Conclusion:
We will all come face-to-face with Jesus Christ. The truth is that if we do not come face-to-face with Jesus Christ now and open ourselves to Him, we will come face-to-face with Jesus Christ at the judgment. How does the “bad news” about God’s judgment prepare you to believe and act on the “good news” of the gospel? How does it make you feel to realize that Jesus died to take away the judgment we all deserve?

How would you summarize this passage of Scripture to a friend who seems concerned about his own future with God? If you knew that you would come face-to-face with Jesus Christ in the next 24 hours, what action would you take right now?



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